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November 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 32, No. 11   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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A New Tip on Avoiding a Cold that Could Ruin Your Dive Trip

from the November, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Most of us divers worry about catching a head cold that will affect our diving, and I'm most worried during a long flight to somewhere exotic and expensive.

There's help, says a study compiled by researchers at three American universities and published recently in Physical Review, that says there are effective ways of minimizing the risk of contracting in-flight infections.

They say you can reduce the odds significantly by the way you board the plane. They found that the time spent in close proximity to other passengers after boarding and standing in the aisle to find your seat increases infection risk by 67 percent. When planes were boarded from both front and rear, they found that the infection rate dropped to 40 percent. The larger the plane -- that is, the more seats -- the bigger the risk.

Here's the tip: Board early and get to your seat quickly. Or wait to board until the last minute. Either way, you cut your possible contact with an ill passenger and reduce the risk of infection and a bad cold that could ruin your diving. Of course, if you sit next to a person coughing and wheezing, look for another seat.

Multiscale model for pedestrian and infection dynamics during air travel - Namilae,/Derjany/Mubayi/Scotch/Srinivasan https://goo.gl/ayxH4R

- Ben Davison

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